January 30, 2015 |
Joan Young's roof was leaking. The furnace wasn't in great shape, either. But the 70-year-old retiree had few options. "When you're working, it's different. You find the money," she said. On Social Security, "you just deal with what you can, and you try to keep the bills from being expensive, so you turn down the heat and you put on more clothes. " Then Young learned of a pilot program in Philadelphia that is seen as a way to conserve energy, aid the poor, make homes healthier to live in, and perhaps even act as a hedge against homelessness, bolstering the supply of low-income housing in the city.
October 20, 2014 |
If you work as a builder, what better way to experiment with new environmentally friendly techniques and materials than on your own house. That's what Matthew Seip and his wife, Sue, did at their Perkiomenville home, nestled on an acre or so of quiet land close to Green Lane Park and the Perkiomen Trail. For the Seips, buying and rebuilding the three-story, 1,500-square-foot house was an expression of their philosophy that less is more. They have a garden and raise chickens. Through composting, they teach their three children, Emmett, Elisabeth, and Nathan, about recycling.
October 16, 2014 |
IT'S A RACE in reverse, you might say. Mayor Nutter yesterday announced the launch of a citywide competition among big buildings to show the lowest energy costs, with a national prize awaiting the winners after a year. The Energy Reduction Race will tally the energy bills of the participating commercial skyscrapers in the city and will be judged by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. The "race" ends Sept. 30, 2015, when each of three top-performing buildings will be awarded $5,000.
October 16, 2014 |
Delaware and Maryland were already in. El Paso, Orlando, San Diego, and Spokane were in. On Tuesday, Mayor Nutter, flanked by federal energy and environmental officials, announced that Philadelphia also was joining a U.S. better-buildings challenge and launched an energy race among the city's biggest buildings. As in weight reduction, the biggest losers win. The challenge is to reduce energy use 5 percent by Sept. 30, 2015. But building operators are encouraged to do more.
July 24, 2014
D OUG BLOOM, 56, of Flourtown, is CEO of RealWinWin, a company that makes energy efficiency economically viable for clients who own, operate or manage more than 1 billion square feet of commercial space. The company finds, collects and creates rebates to make energy-related projects more cost-effective. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for RealWinWin? A: The company was founded in 2001 to build an ASP [application service provider] in the landlord-tenant, building and energy-efficiency spaces.
June 13, 2014 |
In what was, by all accounts, their first public appearance together since winning their parties' nominations in the May 20 primary election, Republican Gov. Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf outlined their competing environmental stances Wednesday night at the annual dinner meeting of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Both spoke of a need for balance - that environmental protection and economic development are not mutually exclusive. But they differed in how to get there - most notably, but not surprisingly, on whether there should be an extraction tax on natural gas development in the state's rich Marcellus Shale formation.
June 4, 2014 |
A proposed federal rule to reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants - a signature initiative for the Obama administration - would not only address climate change but protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said in announcing it Monday. But how Pennsylvania and New Jersey would meet that mandate is still very much up in the air. By 2030, the nation's power sector would, on average, have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels.
April 27, 2014 |
Tom Wolf's campaign for governor has apologized and fired a consultant after acknowledging the aide lifted passages from a Wisconsin energy company's reports and reprinted them as part of Wolf's policy on energy efficiency. "I have directed the staff to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, and have asked for a new process to be put in place to ensure it does not," Wolf said in a statement. U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, one of his opponents in the Democratic primary, pointed out the "troubling plagiarism" Thursday, saying the episode raised doubts about the front-runner.
April 24, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will hold a hearing May 5 at Drexel University on the use of combined heat and power (CHP), a high-efficiency method of generating electricity and thermal energy from a single fuel source. CHP systems, which are used by businesses like hotels, universities and hospitals, generate about 2,638 megawatts or 7.2 percent of Pennsylvania's total electricity. The PUC says the technical potential for additional systems could quadruple that production.
April 13, 2014 |
Whether they're looking at newly built or previously owned houses, all buyers have lengthy wish-lists. When choosing new, they have a virtually empty canvas on which to draw their dream homes, especially if money is no object. These days, however, it is an issue, even for higher-end buyers, said Carl Becht, vice president of sales for Vaughan & Sautter Builders in Wayne. "They are very cost-conscious these days and might not be as willing to go overboard" as they were before the economic downturn, Becht said.